Russian war on Ukraine will hit Budget predictions, MP warns
The “irrational carnage” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be a major blow to Bermuda’s economy, an Opposition MP warned in the Budget debate.
Michael Dunkley of the One Bermuda Alliance highlighted the size of Ukraine’s economy and resources and told the House of Assembly on Friday that the war’s impact “will be drastic on the world and certainly Bermuda”.
Mr Dunkley, a former Premier, compared the 2022-23 Budget with that of two years ago at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He told MPs it was again “time to rethink the Budget”.
“The war has blown a big hole in the projections for this year.”
Mr Dunkley accused David Burt, the Premier, of the use of political rhetoric to disrupt the political process.
Mr Dunkley said the Progressive Labour Party had repeatedly disrupted the last One Bermuda Alliance administration’s work to change the immigration system.
He added that there had been large scale public demonstrations against the proposed OBA “pathways to status” legislation in 2016.
Mr Dunkley said: “I can recall when the House of Assembly was surrounded and one of the doors was nailed shut.”
Mr Dunkley criticised the 2022-23 Budget statement for a “feeble and weak” attempt to shift the blame for the island’s problems on to the OBA, which he said had governed for just five of the past 25 years.
He added: “I would like to remind the Premier that they are the government.
“They have significant support, a significant majority of 30 people – but you are losing trust, losing support, and people are losing hope.
“Govern for all the people. Show people you care.”
Mr Dunkley told MPs he supported the new Budget “100 per cent” on concessions for hotels to compete with other destinations.
But he called for more honesty on whether a $50 million government guarantee had been promised for the Fairmont Southampton Hotel to reopen.
Mr Dunkley said: “Let’s have the truth.”